Indian Hill

After summiting Piedras Grandes again, it was time to go climb Indian Hill. Since I drove to the trailhead differently, I was now on the west side of the tracks. That was fine, it just meant a little extra hiking, since I could not drive any closer. Much of the hike is either along the train tracks or the flat desert floor, so it was not much of an issue.

Changing shirts as the day was getting warmer, I quickly headed off. Technically you are not supposed to be on the tracks as they are considered private property, but I decided to be a rebel. The smell of the creosote on the railroad ties reminded me so much of my dad. We used to spend Sunday afternoons chasing trains up to the Tehachapi Loop.

Once I reached the Jeep road that heads west, I knew it was time to follow it. I think in a proper 4×4 you could keep driving well past the water tank at Dos Cabezas. I followed the road for a bit as Indian Hill finally showed itself from behind a very pyramid mountain standing alone on the desert floor. It looked so much smaller this time. I remember being intimidated the last time I was here. 

Indian Hill is certainly more bouldery than Piedras Grande, so I spent more time surveying possible routes. I picked one that looked like it would not require any excessive scrambling. I began working my way up the rocky slopes, again noting the improved confidence and strength. Before I knew I had reached the summit! 

The register was tucked next to the eggshell rock and had quite a few familiar names on its pages. I grabbed some photos and surveyed the road to the west. Two other benchmarks are out here that are on the San Diego 100 list, so I will be back probably in 2020.

I scrambled down from the summit and headed east toward the tracks. On the way out I spotted some trash along the rails, and upon my return, I grabbed it and carried it out. Back at the car, I took in the fact I have but three more peaks to climb and this challenge will be over. Now to drive back into San Diego and get the Friday special at my favorite taco shop!


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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